Sharpton denounces Trump’s latest race rhetoric: ‘Look at his record’

The Rev. Al Sharpton denounced former President Trump’s latest race-related comments, urging voters to “look at his record” on past issues involving Black Americans before leaning into his rhetoric.

Sharpton joined MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace Friday, where she asked him about Trump’s recent comments highlighted by Semafor where he touted that he has “so many Black friends,” he couldn’t be considered racist.

“I have so many Black friends that if I were a racist, they wouldn’t be friends, they would know better than anybody, and fast,” Trump said in the interview, per the outlet. “They would not be with me for two minutes if they thought I was racist — and I’m not racist!”

Wallace asked Sharpton how the media should cover the former president’s controversial statements.

“I think that we cover it by the record. I think that we should not [take the] bait … the bait of having to prove Donald Trump is a racist,” Sharpton responded.

He added that he knows Trump and believes he is a racist but “that’s not what we have to prove.”

“Just look at his record. He has always race baited,” the reverend argued.

Sharpton then went on to list Trump’s harsh comments about the Central Park Five, the men wrongfully convicted of a brutal 1989 sexual assault. He specifically noted his rhetoric after the “Unite the Right” Charlottesville rally where he said there were “very fine people” on both sides of the conflict.

He also brought up the same case after the former president was convicted in the Manhattan hush money trial late last month.

In another example, Sharpton noted that Trump was president during the 2020 George Floyd protests where he had protesters cleared from outside the White House for a photo opportunity. He continued, arguing that the presumptive GOP nominee, a businessman and former TV show host, began his political career by saying former President Obama was not a real American and questioned his place of birth.

“Birtherism. Has he even questioned Joe Biden’s birthplace?” Sharpton asked. “I mean, everything about race, he’s always race baiting against Blacks.”

“So, all you got to do is look at his record and I’ve said to any of those that support him, show me where he was on the right side of any race issue,” he added.

Sharpton continued, saying if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.

“I believe he’s a racist,” he said, later adding “I don’t believe everybody that votes for him is a racist, but I believe that every racist votes for Donald Trump.”

Sharpton’s comments come as Trump maintains a narrow lead over Biden, per The Hill/Decision Desk HQ’s aggregation of polls — even after he was convicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the hush money case.

It is not the first time Trump has drawn scrutiny over his comments about Black Americans. In February, while speaking about his indictments, he attempted to earn sympathy from the crowd by claiming Black voters like him because they, too, had been discriminated against.

He also compared his personal legal battles to those Black men face in the country’s criminal justice system and said “the Black population” loved seeing his mugshot from the Fulton County, Ga. election interference case.

Black leaders and Democrats blasted the former president for his remarks.

In recent months, Trump has made a concerted effort to win over Black men during his campaign, especially since Biden appears to be losing steam with voters of color. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who is on the shortlist as a potential vice-presidential pick for 2024, has been campaigning for the former president to earn Black support.

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